MEMBERS of the Royal British Legion lined Headley Way in Headington yesterday as the body of a soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan was repatriated.

The family of Cpl Matthew Thomas, inset, broke down in tears as his body passed through Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire on its way to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital for a post mortem examination.

More than 100 of Cpl Thomas’s friends and family had travelled from Swansea in South Wales to be present when his coffin arrived back at RAF Lyneham.

Cpl Thomas, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, died when the vehicle he was driving was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Garmsir district of Helmand province on September 25. He is the 338th serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

A spokesman for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers said: “Though still a young man, he was a natural leader setting the highest standards, showing enormous moral strength, and nurturing those under his command at every turn.”